All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell

Podcast Episode #355: All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell

Diane Sanfilippo Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 4 Comments

All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky CampbellTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [1:59]
    1. Balanced Bites Spices
    2. Balanced Bites Master Class
  2. Introducing our guest, Dr. Becky Campbell [3:25]
  3. Dr. Campbell's personal thyroid story [7:57]
  4. Seven common triggers of Hashimoto's [11:15]
  5. Identifying and working with gut infections [17:12]
  6. High cortisol, adrenal dysfunction, and the thyroid [23:29]
  7. Exercise and high cortisol [29:31]
  8. Mindfulness and the healing power off the mind [33:59]
  9. Doctor's and ordering blood work [37:27]
  10. Anxiety reaction to certain foods and supplements [43:36]
  11. Hashimoto's during pregnancy [45:47]
  12. Low-carb/keto and Hashimoto's [48:08]

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All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell All About Thyroid Health with Dr. Becky Campbell

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 355.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the new 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

I’m co-creator of the Balanced Bites Master Class, with my podcast partner in crime, Liz. And together, we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 6 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account or Facebook group for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Diane Sanfilippo: We are thrilled to announce a brand new sponsor to the podcast this week, Kettle and Fire. We’ve talked about bone broth before and the many benefits, but to name a few, it’s been shown to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and improve the quality of your skin. While I do like to make my own bone broth, there’s not always time for that. Kettle and Fire is the next best thing. They use organic chicken bones, and a slow simmer time to extract as much protein as possible. Not to mention that they use chicken feet; yay! Which increases the collagen and gelatin. And you can store it directly on your shelf for up to two years. Which is pretty cool, considering they’re a fresh, never frozen broth with no added preservatives or additives. Check them out at and use coupon code BALANCEDBITES for 10% off, plus free shipping. That’s one per customer. It’s 10% off, and free shipping when you order 6 or more cartons.

1. News and updates from Diane [1:59]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright you guys, a couple of quick updates before we head into my interview with Dr. Becky Campbell. If you are curious about updates on Balanced Bites spices, the best place to get them is at So head over to Instagram and follow @BalancedBites over there. We obviously tag the Balanced Bites spices account through the podcast sometimes, and of course you always see me tagging it whenever I’m cooking with the spices.

And I think the only other update I have for you guys this week is that the Balanced Bites Master Class is closed for enrollment now. So if you were curious about it, if you missed out on enrolling this time, head over to We’ve got a wait list. You’ll be the first to be notified when the next class opens up. It will be sometime next year. We don’t have all the details on that yet, because we always like to map things out, knowing that the class does take about 10 weeks for us to get through. We want to make sure we have plenty of time for everyone to know about it, and all that good stuff.

So, And you can follow along the hashtag BBMasterClass. If you are in the class, you can post using that as you're studying. As you’re following along in the modules. We would love to see little photos of your study area, or while you're watching one of the videos, etc. I think that’s always super fun to watch where you're learning, and just kind of follow along on your journey. So we’ll see you guys in the class if you're enrolled. And if you're not, then maybe we’ll see you next year.

2. Introducing our guest, Dr. Becky Campbell [3:25]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, everyone. Today I have Dr. Becky Campbell on the show to chat about thyroid health. Specifically, Hashimoto’s. To give you a quick background, Dr. Becky Campbell is a board-certified doctor of natural medicine who was initially introduced to functional medicine as a patient. She struggled with many of the issues her patients struggle with today, and she’s made it her mission to help patients around the world with her virtual practice.

Dr. Becky Campbell is the founder of and the author of the 30-day thyroid reset plan. She specializes in Hashimoto’s disease, and hopes to help others regain their life as functional medicine helped her to regain hers.

Alright, welcome to the show Dr. Campbell. It’s nice to have you here.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Thanks for having me! I’m really excited.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m excited to chat with you. This is our first time meeting; I say that in air quotes. But I’m really excited to chat with you. So before we get into our official conversation, which is always a little more series, we like to break the ice a little bit with a new thing you're into lately. And since we don’t know you, it might not have to be new. Just something that you’re into lately. Health or wellness, or lifestyle. Whatever it is.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I was a huge bagel lover before I started not eating grains and gluten, all that. And Jennifer Robins has created the Legit Bread Company bagel mix. Which is amazing. And so I’ve actually been doing that with your bagel seasoning.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay!

Dr. Becky Campbell: Because I used to love everything bagel. And now I get to have them. So that’s; I think I talk about that the most. {laughs} I love that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Don’t you love when the thing that you're most obsessed with isn’t your own thing. {laughs} It’s like; I'm not most obsessed with my 30-day program. Of course, you are. But we all have these other things that we’re obsessed with.

I’m glad that I have spices now that I can be obsessed with.

Dr. Becky Campbell: They’re so good, they make it easy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Aw, thank you. Well I’m so glad. Yay, that’s awesome. We love Jennifer Robins. She’s been on the show before. And if you guys haven’t tried Legit Bread, definitely check it out. And she has a bagel mix. Scott, my husband, made some of the bagels a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t get to taste one. I was like; save me one!

Dr. Becky Campbell: My kids love them.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s awesome. How old are your kids?

Dr. Becky Campbell: Well I have three boys; they’re 3, 6, and almost 9. And then I also have 2 girls that are twins, and they’re turning 14.

Diane Sanfilippo: O. M. G.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Yeah. {laughs} They’re not my biological. But they’re still.

Diane Sanfilippo: Still.

Dr. Becky Campbell: 50% of the time, and they’re awesome. So we’re busy.

Diane Sanfilippo: You are momming it up. That’s awesome.

Dr. Becky Campbell: That’s for sure.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I think you guys know that if you follow me on Instagram, watermelon wonder kombucha has been my obsession since last summer, when it was called Liberty Kombucha. From GT Synergy; hashtag not sponsored. But it’s available at Trader Joe’s; I think maybe nationwide now. If you haven’t seen my post on Instagram, you can go check it out to see where it’s sold near you. But that’s been an absolute obsession of mine. I kind of have a one a day habit these days. I try to break it up into two servings, even though maybe that’s more kombucha than one person needs in a day. But it’s absolutely my treat. It tastes like Jolly Ranchers to me; what I remember of Jolly Ranchers from back in the day.

So that’s my current obsession. And if you guys love it, I would love to hear it. If you don’t love it; you don’t need to come tell me. It’s ok.

Dr. Becky Campbell: {laughs} I think people love or hate kombucha.

Diane Sanfilippo: In general, yeah.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; Liz, I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and new fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. To learn lots more about the NTA’s nutritional therapy programs, go to Don’t forget to check out their free Nutritional Therapy 101 course, and their brand-new course, Foundational Wellness, launching this summer.

3. Dr. Campbell’s personal thyroid story [7:57]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So we are going to do a little getting to know you introduction for this episode. Because it’s your first time on the podcast. So, Dr. Campbell, why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit of your own personal story. Your new book is the 30-day Thyroid Reset Plan. But tell our listeners your story, and background. Just kind of how you got here to doing this work.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think most functional medicine practitioners start off as patients. I think that’s why we kind of get into this, because we’ve suffered. And that’s definitely what happened with me. I think the biggest red flag for me was I’d always been thin, and then one day I felt like I woke up 30-pounds heavier. It definitely didn’t happen in one day, but it really felt that way.

And then I was really tired. Abnormally tired. You know when it’s abnormal. I was literally taking naps in the car, at red lights. On a normal basis. My hair really started falling out in clumps. Just clumps of hair missing. And I went to so many different doctors. Of course, I was fine, because my blood tests were fine. And the blood tests they checked were probably my cholesterol and maybe TSH or something. Very minimal. And I went from doctor to doctor to doctor. No one could help me. I knew something was wrong.

They tried putting me on antidepressants, which isn’t surprising. I actually hear that from so many people. It’s kind of like; oh, we don’t know what’s wrong. Take this, it’s in your head.

And then I found a functional medicine practitioner. They did a thorough thyroid panel on me, and found an underlying thyroid issue. They found I had gut infections, heavy metal toxicity. I had Epstein Barr virus. I mean, I had so many issues. So they not only found the issues, but they also gave me a plan to put in place. Including diet and supplements and just lifestyle changes. And I got better.

So I knew that I had to do this. I started diving into functional medicine. Any course I could take on functional medicine, I was there. And just did that over the years. I’ve attracted a lot of thyroid patients, which is why I decided to write this book. Because I wanted to give people something that they could do themselves that they didn’t have to pay all this money, and do all this stuff. Because not everyone can do that. But something they could do with diet and supplements to really start to get their quality of life back.

4. Seven common triggers of Hashimoto’s [11:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: I love that. I love that you have an approach that really hits at what’s the underlying potential cause as a first thing to look at, really. I was previewing through your book. Which, honestly, I love the way this book was designed. Maybe not everybody is sensitive to that, but I’m very sensitive to it because I think good design is good, and bad design is the worst thing ever. Because it’s very distracting if it’s bad.

But you talk about seven common triggers of Hashimoto’s. And I want to know how often do you see people not being at all aware that these are common triggers. And that they’re things that could be addressed slowly over time. What do you see in your practice with how these different common underlying triggers really are affecting thyroid disease.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think that most people don’t know. They don’t even know what some of this stuff is. I think probably the most common thing is they’ll hear about adrenals, and they’ll say, “I think there’s something wrong with my adrenals. And I told my doctor that, and she said that’s not true. It doesn’t exist.”

It’s crazy! Because the thyroid and the adrenals run on the same axis, and they really, really play off of each other. A lot of them will have issues with their gut, and they’ll go to the doctor. And the doctor will do a colonoscopy or something that is not really going to get to what they have going on. It’s usually something more along the lines of SIBO, or yeast overgrowth, or something like that. And if the colonoscopy is negative, then they’ll go, “You don’t have any issues.” And they’ll give them some ridiculous medication for that.

So, yeah. I see it all the time. That they have these underlying triggers, but I see that they don’t know that they have them. And a lot of the triggers they haven’t even heard of.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I’m just going to read off from the top line what the seven triggers are that you identify. We won’t get into every detail of every trigger. But HPA axis imbalance, which is the one that you were just talking about with cortisol and adrenal issues. Vitamin deficiencies. Leaky gut and food sensitivities. Gut infections. Other chronic infections. Sex hormone dysfunction. And heavy metal toxicity.

What I think is so interesting is that it’s so obvious that women in particular can easily be struggling with any one of these things, and really stay very focused on that one thing and not realize that it’s also affecting their thyroid. And that more of the symptoms of, for example, that heavy metal toxicity are coming through as thyroid symptoms. But that underlying root cause could be something totally different.

I would just love to hear any additional stories or cases where you’ve seen somebody who really just maybe didn’t notice that something was going on in their life for many, many years that they were doing. A lifestyle pattern, or dietary pattern, that was impacting their thyroid health. That then working on a few of these changes has been able to help them.

What could some of our listeners be paying attention to that maybe they haven’t been? Because they’re pretty savvy about healthy food. But sometimes there are other nuances that they’re maybe not aware of.

Dr. Becky Campbell: You know, I think that a lot of people don’t really realize certain things like gluten is a good example. Gluten is a huge trigger for thyroid issues. Especially Hashimoto’s, which is the autoimmune component of hypothyroidism.

A lot of people say; “I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, so I don’t need to cut that out.” It’s really not about that. It’s about what it’s doing with your thyroid, and then also the fact that it can cause leaky gut. And leaky gut can lead to more autoimmune diseases. 97% of thyroid issues are autoimmune. So you really need to be careful with certain things. Like gluten. And just gut health in general. I mean, I think that people think probiotics; if they take probiotics, that’s gut health. And it’s really not. Sometimes it can even make it worse, actually.

And you know, really just staying away from sugar. That’s going to feed those issues. That’s why your book is so great; sugar is the worst. It’s literally the worst thing ever. And it drives issues in every area. It drives adrenal issues. And gut issues. And makes you tired. And all that.

I think food. I think even some fermented foods. People will eat a ton of fermented foods, but if you have a problem with yeast, it’s not a good idea. So it’s hard. Because some of the things that you think can make you better, don’t. Everyone is different.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think to that point, then, one of the big things we see are people who do give up gluten for a time, and then bring it back. And say; “I don’t know if it was really bothering me.” Because maybe they didn’t have direct digestive upset as a result. And I think to your point, if they’re dealing with weight loss resistance, or they’ve gained weight over the last period of time, and it’s a little bit confusing as to why it happened, seemingly all other things being equal. Knowing what gluten, or any type of food that can be problematic for your own gut can be doing, has a result that’s not seemingly gut related.

That’s something that I don’t know everyone really wakes up to. I think we talked about it on our podcast years and years ago. Gut health doesn’t necessarily mean; if you are having issues with gut health, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have digestive problems that you notice in that way. It can be totally on satellite. It’s affecting your body somewhere else.

5. Identifying and working with gut infections [17:12]

Can you talk a little bit about gut infections? I know you list out different types of gut infections. Parasites, SIBO, yeast, hypochlorhydria, and leaky gut. Can you talk about what you see in your practice in terms of what tends to be the most common? And what people can do about it. Identifying it and working with it, etc.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Yeah. So SIBO is the most common thing I see. Which is the small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Which is typically brought on by having low stomach acid. I think digestive enzymes are amazing. Something you can just go get, and do. You won’t have to pay for a test or anything like that. It can really help with people with SIBO; definitely digestive enzymes. And for leaky gut, as well.

I think SIBO is probably the most common. I do see a lot of yeast; candida. People refer to it as candida. But yeast overgrowth. Sometimes parasites; I don’t see parasites all the time. Sometimes they can be hard to pick up on tests.

There are supplements; I hate to recommend supplements for the gut because it can be something different. A lot of people will do caprylic acid; they’ll tell themselves, “I have candida.” And they’ll go on this crazy candida diet, taking all these candida supplements, and it could be a parasite and that’s not really going to do anything for the parasite.

So really I think testing is the best bet, so you actually know what you're dealing with. There are so many places online you can order your own tests now. Or working with a functional medicine practitioner, obviously, is ideal. So I would say, ideally work with a functional medicine practitioner. Do some testing on your gut. Because most people have a gut infection. And it’s the key to health; a healthy gut environment. You’ve got to get rid of those infections.

I’d say the next step down would be ordering your own tests. And the next step down, if you couldn’t do any of that, would be at least doing digestive enzymes. Different probiotics; most probiotics are good. But again, you should really do something to kill. You want to kill whatever the infection is, and it’s hard to know which one it is based on symptoms. Because they all kind of run; the symptoms are all about the same.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have actually been using some digestive enzymes again. I used them many years ago, and then kind of got away from it. And more recently while traveling, I was with some friends. And they’re all nutrition nerds, nutritionists. Someone said; “I forgot my digestive enzymes, I’m going to buy some more.” I was like; let me go in on that with you. We bought a bottle, just at Whole Foods. Something that I looked at, and it looked like it had a good variety of enzymes to break down carbs, fat, and protein.

And I know that I potentially could have issues with my gallbladder, it’s on both sides of my family. So I’m always really aware of that. I have one that has ox bile in it, as well. But no HCl. I didn’t really do well with an enzyme that combined HCl. And I think that’s a level that not everybody needs to get to. Because if you're taking the enzymes, I think that really helps to support stomach acid. That’s just my take on it. But I have found that really does help my digestion a bunch.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Yeah, if I were going to recommend two random things that anybody could do, I would say digestive enzymes and liver support. And that will help everybody.

Diane Sanfilippo: And what’s your favorite blanket liver support? I tend to recommend something like milk thistle. Whether it’s a tea or a supplement. But I don’t know what you would recommend.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I actually have my own product. It’s called the optimal reset cleanse. And I combine liver support, like milk thistle, with amino acids and some nutrients. So I think that, of course, is best. But something that you can also do; other liver support, like Epsom salt baths. You can do, what’s it called, the packs. The over your liver.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, castor oil.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Yeah, the castor oil packs are really good. So it really depends on the person’s ability to push toxins out, which is a whole nother topic. But definitely you want to start gentle. And those are good places to start.

Diane Sanfilippo: Coincidentally, there’s a meal plan in the updated version of Practical Paleo that I talk about liver detox support. Because I know in the next 5 to 7 years, people are going to be talking about it more and more. We’ve already talked about it more on our podcast in the last couple of years. As this adjunct to whatever else is going on in the body. We’re talking about thyroid health and gut health; but really, if we’re working on healing those things, our liver is at the center at all of that stuff. And I talk about it with the sugar detox a lot, too. The liver is really at the center of; ok, you’ve made these changes; how does your body readjust. Your liver has to help with all of that. If it’s not optimized and working in that way, then really supporting it is great.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Plus, if you're going to start killing bugs. Viruses and gut infections, you want your liver to be pushing toxins out efficiently. And in the book, I actually talk about it. But with my 30-day plan, I do recommend my liver detox. Because this is honestly, out of everything I do, where I see the most change in patients. Is the 30-day plan with the liver support. I mean, it’s amazing. People lose weight. They get energy back. And yes, it’s about your thyroid. But it’s about all these other things that are going on that are driving the symptoms, as well. So liver support, 100%.

6. High cortisol, adrenal dysfunction, and the thyroid [23:29]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So, you have a little quiz about trying to figure out if your cortisol levels are high. And I love to talk about this topic, because I think a lot of women. Especially, and those are primarily our listeners. I would say our listeners are anywhere from 25 to 50 years old, female. So exactly who we’re talking about with thyroid health.

But what are some things that women who are coming to you are really dealing with in terms of cortisol dysregulation and adrenal axis dysregulation. What are you seeing really commonly? And what is it that people are ignoring that would be very common signs of this exhaustion, essential? It might be not quite to that point, yet, but leading up to it.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think a lot of people think they have adrenal fatigue. Which would be more of a depletion of cortisol. And I really find it’s not true for most people. Most people are in a higher state of cortisol. And the adrenal fatigue really comes after you’ve been high cortisol for just a really long time.

So, it’s typically weight gain, especially in the midsection, and when you notice that you don’t do anything different but you can’t stop gaining weight. Or you're exercising, and you’re gaining weight. That’s actually something I really like to inform people of. Because if you have high cortisol, and you are doing really intense exercise, you're probably going to start gaining weight. And I’ve had people say this to me. “I’m running 5 days a week, and doing CrossFit, and all this stuff and I’m gaining weight!” It’s because you’re pushing your cortisol higher.

So I really like to direct people to specific exercises based on what I see on their adrenal testing. But yeah, it’s usually weight gain in the midsection. Having trouble falling asleep. If you're having trouble staying asleep, that tends to be more of a low cortisol issue. But it can vary. You can have different symptoms for both.

Really fatigue. I think fatigue is probably the biggest symptom I see. A lot of people will, say, have that afternoon crash, and having to rely on coffee. That type of thing. People with high cortisol tend to be more anxiety than people with low cortisol.

I suffered with debilitating anxiety. And it was cortisol related. I had really high cortisol, and I didn’t know. It was that and it was blood sugar related. I had low blood sugar, which was giving me a lot of anxiety, as well. Those are probably the most common things I see when it comes to cortisol issues.

Diane Sanfilippo: How often are you recommending that women stop drinking coffee or caffeine in general related to those issues, specifically?

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think if you have anxiety, coffee is probably not a good idea. Which is hard, because a lot of people are tired and wired feeling, and that’s so adrenal related. Coffee is not, in the long run, going to help you with energy. It’s just really straining your adrenals more.

I do recommend that people at least go down to one cup a day. I try not to make things so restrictive that people are mad and want to give up, that kind of thing. And then if you have low cortisol, I think it’s fine to have coffee. But still, maybe not all day long. I think everything in moderation. But definitely with high cortisol, I would try to stick to a lower type of caffeine, or none.

Diane Sanfilippo: I kind of ask that as just a self-indulgent question. Because as somebody who; I can probably tell you that as you describe symptoms of high cortisol, the way that my body naturally wants to run is definitely in that direction. I’m more prone to anxiety than depression for sure; just family history, all of that.

And since January, a lot of our listeners will know this. But since January, I have not had coffee. And I was definitely a coffee drinker. One. One in the morning. One iced coffee. Not all day, because that to me sounds like a recipe for disaster. But I was definitely experiencing a lot of trouble falling asleep when I was drinking coffee. Just that one in the morning. Not at one in the morning, but that one cup I would drink in the morning. {laughs} Not to confuse that.

I like to tell this story, because I think a lot of other women are probably in the boat that I was in. They’re like, “I just have one cup, and it’s in the morning. How can that be affecting my ability to fall asleep at night?” And the reality is, it can be affecting so many things. And it absolutely can be affecting falling asleep at night. And I just share that because I have found so many other positive benefits to not having that hit.

I am drinking matcha green tea, and I know it has caffeine, but less. And for me, currently, it’s working. I’m trying to drink it after eating some food in the morning, because I do feel better if I don’t have it on an empty stomach.

Dr. Becky Campbell: That’s good. Especially with fat. It will help. Because matcha is actually really stimulating, even though it’s lower in caffeine. And I find for me, too, if I have some fat with it, I feel great. If I do it on an empty stomach, I feel like I’m on crack. {laughs}

7. Exercise and high cortisol [29:31]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I’m enjoying that for the moment, but always TBD. Ok, so I’m just hitting on some of the big things that are outlined in your book, in terms of what you recommend to people. You mentioned exercise, when we were talking about adrenal stuff. And I know it’s such a hot topic with our listeners.

What is really happening? Aside from the high cortisol pushing potentially gaining more body fat. Which, isn’t that just? I mean, anyone who is training out there and is thinking; “I gained weight, and now I’m trying to workout to take it off.” And it’s like this brick wall that they just run up against when they realize too much high intensity exercise is making it worse.

What are some of your favorite ways to recommend that people do workout? Especially people who were either the runners, or the CrossFit folks who need just a time away from what they were doing. What do you usually recommend?

Dr. Becky Campbell: It depends on the level of their fatigue and that type of stuff. Anything from someone who is really, really fatigued. Probably Pilates, yoga, that type of thing. Walking, swimming, riding your bike. Something enjoyable; whatever. Horseback riding. Whatever you like that’s not really, really high intensity.

But then someone who is tired if they do a long workout, I really like Tabata, or just some type of burst training. The high intensity interval training. Because you can still get more of that intense feeling, but you're doing it for a much shorter time. You're just doing the short bursts, so it’s just not depleting you and making you feel exhausted.

You want to feel good after your workout. If you feel really exhausted, you're not doing the right type of workout.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s such a great point. I hit a wall last year while I was working on my last book. This hasn’t happened to me every time I’ve written a book, so I’m just going to say that right now. Because I think a lot of our listeners are probably like; “Maybe you shouldn’t do that anymore.”

When I rewrote Practical Paleo; which, it was not as big of an undertaking as writing it the first time. But for me, it was writing another book. I did a much better job at planning out my day and creating a schedule for myself. I was maintaining my stress levels in a healthy place, as best I could.

But this last time, working on the 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide, it was a tough time for me. I mean, it was really stressful. After moving, and then working on that. I would go into the gym. We have a gym in our garage. I would go into the gym, and I was like; I don’t even know what I can do in here. I felt so flattened out. And I kept working with my trainer to get lower and lower intensity workouts that she would schedule for me. And I was like; I actually can’t even move. I felt like my adrenals were damaged. I couldn’t get that energy up and going. And I just kind of did nothing but walking with the dog.

Dr. Becky Campbell: And sometimes that all you can do. Sometimes you can’t. You can’t workout. My patients love when I say that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} It’s like permission.

Dr. Becky Campbell: I have people, “Tell my husband.” But sometimes, really, you just need a break. And your body can’t focus on anything like that at the time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think. I just like to share those anecdotes. And now that I’ve gone back to spinning, which I’m a really good, manage my own output person. I don’t really care who is going at whatever rate and what they’re doing. But I’m actually finding that my body seems to respond better to stress now that I’ve done a little bit of cardiovascular training. Now that my heart is used to my heart rate getting higher and then coming back down, I feel that has helped my stress levels overall. Because I don’t let that mental stress physically take over.

Which I know is another thing that you talk about; mindfulness and practicing mindfulness. And for me, that’s a practice of mindfulness. I’m sure you’ve felt this, working on intense projects. And I’m sure everyone listening. Sometimes you have a thought, and then you feel it. That pit of your stomach response. It’s like; oh, I’m so stressed about that.

Dr. Becky Campbell: The power of the mind is amazing.

8. Mindfulness and the healing power of the mind [33:59]

Diane Sanfilippo: Isn’t it crazy? What do you like to tell your patients about mindfulness, and how powerful that can be in their healing process?

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think that it’s set up to retrain your brain how to react. And your body. Which is important. We do things as kids, and we hold onto that forever. We get stressed out, and then we’re always stressed out if we see that same thing, or whatever. And that’s what I love about mindfulness so much. It’s the non-judging part. They say, “If you wander off, don’t judge yourself. Just come back to the meditation.”

I think that’s another thing we do, too. We judge ourselves. We’re so hard on ourselves for everything. So I love that. I love how it teaches you to relax, and focus on breathing, and focus on if you feel weird sensations in your body, it’s ok. It’s ok to feel that. Don’t turn that feeling into something really bad.

One thing I’ve been really working on lately, because I have so much going on right now. And I tend to get nervous with things. Turning that nervous energy into excitement. And it’s just so amazing how powerful the mind is. It’s kind of a similar feeling. You feel nervous and you think, “No, no. This is excitement.” Your mood literally instantly changes. So you have to address things from all different aspects. Biochemistry is one thing and all that; but you have to address what’s going on with your mind. So that’s why I thought it was really important to dedicate a part of the book to that.

Diane Sanfilippo: I would love to that be a topic of an episode. If any of our listeners know some experts who want to talk more about how powerful the mind is. Because we talked about it in some old episodes of this podcast. I want to say it was with Dr. Dan Kalish. This was year ago. Our podcast is almost 7 years old, which is so crazy. I feel like 7 years ago, people were just figuring out what podcasts were.

But we had talked about how like you were just saying; those pathways in the brain. That response that you have to, for example, a demand of your mother’s, maybe, when you were little. And how that kind of perpetuates over and over. And we just have this consistent stress response, until we train ourselves not to respond that way to whatever that trigger is. It’s going to keep happening.

And exactly what you just said. Reframing the stress as excitement, I have some new projects coming up. And if I think about them in that way, I’m going to feel stressed. But if I just try and reframe. And for me, a lot of that comes from reframing with a lens of gratitude. So instead of feeling this obligation; like, “I have to do this.” Part of that is my personality, too. I don’t do well with obligations. {laughs}

But if I reframe it as, “I get to do that.” Someone has given me the privilege to work on this project, and say, “I want to work on this with you.” Or whatever it is. It really does help. It seems woo-woo.

Dr. Becky Campbell: It does, yeah.

9. Doctors and ordering blood work [37:27]

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s real. Awesome. so we have a couple of questions from some listeners. I would love to get to these. We have one from Lee. She says, “Why are we seeing so many women with Hashimoto’s who don’t fit the typical hashi’s mold. Before they see their MD or ND, what can they do if they’re dealing with it? And what do you do if your medical doctor is resistant to the types of blood work that I know you talk about, the tests that you want people to get in your book.” What advice do you have?

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think if you suspect you have a thyroid issue; the symptoms do not have to be cookie cutter. The thing is, the thyroid controls, either directly or indirectly, literally every function of the body. So you can have such a wide-range of symptoms. So that’s why some people don’t fit “the mold.”

It’s really just different per person. But if you do suspect you have a thyroid issue, you have to ask for the tests. I actually give a list of the tests I want you to ask your doctor for. And there’s no reason that they shouldn’t do it. And if they don’t; fire them. Get a different doctor. There’s a million doctors. Your doctor is working for you; they should be doing what’s in your best interest. And if you feel very strongly about something, and you're asking them; it’s really not a big deal to order a blood panel. So I would get a new doctor, honestly. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I think what people run into is the potential to pay out of pocket for some tests that a doctor isn’t going to run. And I think that’s something that everybody needs to know. You may or you may not. You may be able to find another doctor, and those tests may get covered. I really think if you want to have the power that we all want to have over our own health, we have to be willing to pay the money it’s going to cost. Whether we get the tests, or it’s a naturopath who may or may not be covered by your insurance. You just have to be ready to take that control. That is a massive downside and problem in what I think is a sick-care system. It’s not there to keep people healthy, it’s there to deal with sickness or maintain sickness for a lot of people.

I talked about that in a previous episode, if you guys want to go listen to the one I did with Chris Kresser, who wrote the forward to your book, coincidentally, on Unconventional Medicine. If you're like; I don’t know what to do about this insurance system, and all of that. Go listen to that episode.

But I’m with you. I can’t imagine a doctor telling me no, and then me wanting to continue working with them. It’s like; who are you here to help if you're not on my side.

Dr. Becky Campbell: It’s crazy. It’s crazy the stories I hear, how people are treated. It’s insane.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I have a friend who, she left a doctor’s office recently crying because the doctor was basically looking at her like, you don’t know better than me, I’m not going to order those tests for you. It’s this massive ego problem that’s happening.

Dr. Becky Campbell: It is. And, by the way, the more I learn, the less I realize other people in the medical field know. Not to sound anything great about myself. But there’s the type of doctor who is going to keep up on research, and then there’s the type of doctor who is not. And if you're doctor doesn’t know what things are, they’re not going to help you. All they’re going to do is try to give you medication.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think going into a situation where it could have been a doctor you worked with for many years, and just now you're realizing that they may not know what’s going on. They may not be keeping up. And that feels sad, where you're like; I loved this doctor. And you're really disappointed, because you show up wanting a new kind of help, and they’re not able to deliver. But I think if we walk in with an understanding that this doctor may or may not be the right doctor for me, for my whole life. And understanding too that they’re just people.

Not everyone is going to remain curious. And I think that’s the most important thing when you're looking for a medical professional; naturopathic or western medicine. Whatever it is. I think they need to remain curious. And like you just said; the more you learn, the more you realize what everybody maybe knows or doesn’t. But also, there’s no reason for any type of medical professional to feel like they know everything. I think the minute you think you know everything, you're dead in the water. That’s just…

Dr. Becky Campbell: There’s too much to know everything. And I think that’s it’s ok to not know a lot of stuff. But the problem is; tell people you don’t know. And what I see is the blame shifts to the patient. It’s that they’re causing a problem, and that they need to get out of their practice, or whatever. Instead of saying; “I really don’t know. This is something I could research for you.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think that’s the actual problem that we have. This is a whole other topic. I’m with you; find a new one. I know there are a lot of people who are like, “That’s not easy.” We know it’s not easy. And we know that telling you to find another doctor. We can say that in northern California, and that’s easy. Maybe in Florida it’s not as difficult. And maybe in the middle of the country it’s more difficult. We recognize that saying, “Find a different doctor.” It’s not always as easy for everyone. But it is still really important. Because if it’s your health that you're trying to figure out, and you need someone on your side, continue to look.

There are plenty of practitioners who work with people remotely.

Dr. Becky Campbell: That’s what I do.

10. Anxiety reaction to certain foods and supplements [43:36]

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what you do. So I think that’s really important to keep in mind. Skype is wonderful. I think seeing a patient’s face, and feeling their energy is really important. And that’s something that we can do. It’s like; Jetson’s level. We can just video call each other. We’re doing that right now. It’s great.

Ok, this one is from Kay. “I have Hashimoto’s, and when I ingest certain things; high iodine food, breads, aqueous zinc, bananas, oregano, cacao, Nature Throid, etc. I get super anxious, my heart races, I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin. Almost like a panic attack. Obviously, I stay away from those items. But what is happening here? Is it adrenals? Is it a food reaction or something else? Would love to hear your thoughts?”

Dr. Becky Campbell: I actually think she has a problem with histamine. There are different things that you can ingest that can be high in histamines themselves, or can be a histamine liberator. And the problem is, too much histamine in your body, really not being able to break that down. And I see this all the time. I suffered with this myself. It’s something that, besides thyroid, I work with a lot. So there’s that. It could be that.

It could be that; I think she had named a couple of supplements, right? Like a candida supplement, oregano supplement. It could be that there’s also a gut infection, maybe candida, that she’s getting some die-off once she’s ingesting those, as well. And it could be both. Because typically, if you have an issue with histamine, it’s driven by gut issues. So that’s where I would say to look first.

You can find online tons of histamine foods to eat and not to eat. Maybe do some experimenting with those foods, and see if it’s kind of related to that. But histamine creates estrogen dominance, and estrogen dominance creates thyroid issues. And she has thyroid issues, and she has histamine issues. They’re just working against her.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo. That is good to know.

Dr. Becky Campbell: It’s a lot more detail than that, but that’s the short answer.

11. Hashimoto’s during pregnancy [45:47]

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, awesome. So Emily is asking, “Any recommendations for handling Hashimoto’s during pregnancy? IS there anything different about what we need to do for ourselves during that time?”

Dr. Becky Campbell: I think the best advice I can give on pregnancy in general is before you get pregnant, start acting as if you are. What you eat, what you put in your body, affects you. You and your kids and your grandkids. So eat a really clean diet. Especially if you have Hashimoto’s. You want to eat really clean foods. Which this book that I did is for anyone with Hashimoto’s; pregnancy or not. You can do all of it.

But you want to get the inflammatory foods gone. You want to eat foods high in selenium because selenium is really important to support the thyroid. Especially the inflammatory response. Continue to exercise. Don’t just start eating a bunch of junk because your pregnant. For some reason people do that. Treat your body the way that it should always be treated when your pregnant. Again, just stay low on the inflammatory foods.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. I have a question that I think a lot of people always want to know about. I wanted to actually pull up; you mentioned selenium rich foods. I always remind people, because a lot of our listeners own Practical Paleo and I want them to get all the resources from our guests whenever applicable to them. But you have a resource there. If there are little things that Dr. Campbell is mentioning today that you're like; “Wait. Where can I get selenium in my food?”

If you turn to almost any meal plan in Practical Paleo, and especially the thyroid health plan, you’ll see the nutrients that are relevant to those different conditions and supporting them. And where you can find those nutrients in foods. So it’s not always about supplementation. But getting those foods; eggs, garlic, red chard, turnips. Those are some good sources of selenium. We know brazil nuts are a good course, but that’s also sometimes controversial depending on fatty acid profile, how fresh they are, blah, blah, blah.

12. Low-carb/keto and Hashimoto’s [48:08]

Anywho. Awesome. The last hot topic I want to ask you about; I know you have to run. What’s your take on eating keto, low-carb, when you have Hashimoto’s?

Dr. Becky Campbell: You do need; and this is what I’ve seen in research and what I’ve seen working with so many people with Hashimoto’s. You do better on a higher carbohydrate diet. It really helps with that T4 to T3 conversion. So I don’t put people on a keto diet almost ever. Occasionally, if I’m trying to kill a gut infection, I may temporarily do it. But they tend to lose hair. That’s kind of the biggest thing I see. Losing hair, decreasing energy. I just really haven’t seen anyone do very well with it. I know there are a lot of people who will disagree with me on that. But it’s just what I’ve experienced in my practice.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well we need to hear all angles, so I appreciate hearing that. Well, I know we need to let you go here. I don’t want to take up more of your time. But you have been amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. Where can people find out more about you and your work? The book is the 30-Day Thyroid Reset Plan. We’ll be sharing about it on our social media so you guys will definitely be able to see what that book looks like so you can find it. Where else can they find you?

Dr. Becky Campbell: You can find it on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. All different book stores around, depending on where you are. My website, is a really great resource for recipes and blog posts. Just more information about the thyroid and other things. The histamine that we talked about. And then on Instagram and Facebook at Dr. Becky Campbell.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Well thank you so much. It was really a pleasure to chat with you today.

Dr. Becky Campbell: Thanks, Diane! I appreciate it. It was so fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yay!

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice wild seafood and organics. The leading source of high quality, sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Spring has sprung, and it’s time for light but powerful paleo-friendly fare. Like omega-3 rich wild seafood and delicious grass-fed meat. For something easy on the go, grab one of their pocket-sized tins of sardines, or some salmon or bison jerky. They’ve got our favorite wild salmon and shellfish; plus salmon burgers, dogs, bacon, and even organic bone broths. Check it all out at

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s it for this week, everyone. You can find me at And Dr. Campbell at don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or on the podcast. And hey; while you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. It really helps new listeners find the show. We so appreciate it. We’ll see you next week.

Comments 4

  1. Thanks for the many informative and helpful episodes! In this episode Diane mentioned if anyone had ideas for experts in the field of Mindfulness to share ideas– The most helpful book & audiobook I have read about mindfulness is – Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Also for those who like guided meditations- there are several excellent sessions led by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the second half of the audiobook – The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. I have benefited greatly from both, and come back to them weekly for sure, and often daily.

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  2. Oh! Dr. Campbell got my attention at the end of you podcast talking about Hashimoto’s and Keto. I’m 43 and I have metastatic breast cancer (estrogen receptor positive-she mentioned estrogen and Keto conflict), Hashimoto’s, MTHFR double gene mutation, infertility. I can’t help but think all these things are related. I’m following conventional medicine path but also want to take a holistic natural approach too. I’m trying to figure out how to eat for cancer. I’m gluten free, but also read that Keto is good for cancer, or paleo, and other places to just eat all fruits and veggies I can and no dairy and no red meat, etc. Conflicting paths. Can she give me specific recommendations for how to eat for all my conditions? THANK YOU!!!

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